His students asked him,
Do you want us to fast?
How shall we pray?
Should we give offerings?
From what food must we abstain?
Do not do what you hate,
because everything here lies open
Nothing hidden will remain secret,
for the veil will be stripped away from all that
lies concealed behind it.”
The First Response:
Bind me back to a time,
when religion was not
another word for psychology;
when the shaman’s journey
or the Christmas Mass
told the story of relationship,
illuminated the ties that bound
life to life to
We work too hard now-
what does my life mean?
How does the past haunt today?
Who are all these voices clamoring inside?
why not invite it all in and serve tea?
walk the line between earth and water and sky,
hum a hymn from childhood,
not one of us arose from independent nothingness.
Reweave yourself, but intuitively,
in the meal served,
in the hat knitted and passed on,
in the laughter at the grocery check-out line.
If sin is simply all that is “unripe”,
then explode with flavor, with juice,
or if it is time,
with a fearless releasing to earth.
Live interwoven with it all,
and tell me
where then can you really fall?
Journey through Logos
I am always struck by the disciple’s underlying sense of anxiety and fear in this saying. They so want to know that they are doing things “right”, as though through mimicking the behaviors of religious observance, they have somehow found a grade-book in which they can tell if they are measuring up. They focus on their own wills, their own “spiritual” effort that is wholly based in the outward show and behaviors of religious etiquette. There is very little sense here that actions must take place from the inside out, that the feeling of devotion precedes the attempt to express that emotion through action.
The most startling thing for most of us to see today is that Yeshua is trying very hard to convey a radical and attainable freedom here—the grade books that his disciples are trying to construct suppose a grade will be given, and the one who bestows that grade may be very formidable indeed. He is attempting to release his students from both that fear and that narrow thinking, and to show them that the “hidden” God, as well as the shadowy and judgmental sides of his disciples, are not veiled at all. There can be no true relationship in a power-over way of belief or living. The Lie that we tell ourselves is that there is a judge; that we can linger behind behaviors that have no basis in the very truth that is the core of ourselves. We are called to so much more than this.
We will be noticing through-out the Gospel of Thomas that “heaven” is not located anywhere other than in our own state of consciousness. So again, when Yeshua says that “everything here lies open before heaven” he is pointing to the inner awareness that is the basis of a true relationship with others and the divine. It is a place as open as the sky over a prairie.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
Notice here the reversal of what the disciples are asking of Yeshua in the logion above. Krishna, who is an avatar (a physical manifestation of God), tells his student Arjuna that any offering is fine when it arises first from devotion. In other words, the relationship and feeling sense precede the ritual observance:
He who offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, a cup of water, that offering of love from the striving soul, is acceptable to Me. (Bhagavad Gita 9:26)
Go outside into your yard, garden or to a place in your home that you have set aside as a sacred space. Allow yourself to create a small offering that captures your relationship with God. Feel the unity before the act, as if “that which you are seeking is causing you to seek” or “what you seek is seeking you” (Rumi).
A successful search does not require outward behaviors but rather, an inward change of consciousness.
You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link: